Biden's Cabinet picks may cause animosity on the left: Karl Rove

Biden’s picks are ‘traditional Democrats’ which may cause animosity on the left: Karl Rove

Former President George W. Bush senior adviser Karl Rove on the presidential transition and President-elect Biden’s Cabinet picks.

President-elect Joe Biden’s appointments are “traditional Democrats” and could “accentuate the animosity” from the progressive left, Fox News contributor Karl Rove warned on Tuesday.

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“We haven’t seen a lot of the sort of progressive types yet,” Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to President George W. Bush, told “Mornings with Maria” on Tuesday.

“That’s going to sort of accentuate the animosity, I think, that’s brewing on the left of the Democratic Party,” he continued, noting that progressives will ask, “‘Where is our fair share?’”

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced a number of key Cabinet appointments, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of homeland security, and Avril Haines to serve as the first woman to lead the intelligence community, among other positions.

“It matters that you are a longtime associate of President-elect Biden,” Rove noted. “All these people are well-known to him. They’ve been around him.”

“Many of them are alumni of the Obama-Biden Administration, but also a lot of them are longtime staffers to him in his role in the Senate,” he continued.

Blinken has held senior foreign policy positions in two administrations over three decades, according to the Biden transition, and has advised Biden on foreign policy since 2002. During the Obama administration, Blinken served as deputy secretary of state, and as a principal deputy national security adviser to former President Obama. During the first term of the Obama administration, Blinken served as Biden’s national security adviser.

Mayorkas, the first Latino and immigrant nominated to serve as secretary of homeland security, served as the deputy secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration from 2013 to 2016, and director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2009 to 2013. During that time, Mayorkas led the implementation of DAC and led the department’s response to Ebola and Zika.

Haines, if confirmed, would be the first woman to serve as DNI. Under the Obama Administration, Haines served as a principal deputy national security adviser and as a deputy director at the CIA — she was the first woman to hold both of those positions.


“We don’t know a lot about what the policies are that they’re going to be executing because the Biden campaign was more about ‘I’m not Donald Trump and I will be normal, and you’ll be able to stand me for four years,’” Rove said.

He went on to say the Biden campaign “wasn’t a lot about, ‘Here’s my agenda and I’m going to go out and for five, or six, or seven months leading into the election I’m going to defend that agenda, I’m going to be interviewed by national figures in the press about it, there’s going to be a debate about whether we ought to go this way or that way.'”

He stressed Biden campaigned on the fact that he was “not Trump” and “so there’s not a lot of content.”

Rove also pointed out that as it pertains to foreign policy, Biden’s appointments are “people who’ve been around him for a long time when he made very bad decisions.”

Rove then pointed to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ “great remark that Joe Biden’s been wrong on every foreign policy issue that he’s ever made a decision on in his life” and noted that his appointments include people “who have been surrounding him” for years as he made those decisions.

Biden on Monday also announced former Secretary of State John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate, and will sit on the National Security Council — the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change. Kerry's position is not a Cabinet post.

Rove pointed out that he disagrees with Kerry on “a lot of his views on demolishing oil and gas and so forth.” He then asked if “people like Kerry going to be able to grapple with the fact that the world has changed dramatically in the last four to eight years?”

Rove noted that “China is a far more aggressive power starting in 2012 than it was when Biden comes in as vice president in 2009” and asked if the people around will be able to adjust to that change.

He also pointed out that putting the Iran nuclear deal back together, which could happen under a Biden Administration, “ain’t possible.”

The deal – officially the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – was a historic agreement reached by Iran and several world powers, including the U.S., in 2015, under Barack Obama’s presidency. It was made, in part, to reduce Iran’s ability to produce two components used in making nuclear weapons: plutonium and uranium. In return, crippling economic sanctions would be eased.

Now there is new speculation about whether Biden will move to re-enter the U.S. in the deal or try to renegotiate. Foreign policy experts and those close to Biden believe he will move the U.S. closer to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, but that it will be no easy task.

The Biden team told Fox News last week that his stance on Iran was “spelled out” in a recent op-ed that said as president he would rejoin the agreement if Iran returns to strict compliance with the deal.


“The world has changed in the Middle East in a pretty dramatic way with a coalition of very disparate countries now emerging in opposition to Iran,” Rove said.

“How are these people who were in the Obama-Biden Administration going to deal with these kind of questions? Are they going to try to go back to where they were before? Are they going to have to take some time, understand the new world in which we find ourselves and adjust themselves accordingly?”


Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Kaitlyn Schallhorn and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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